Friday 5 December 2014

A Blackbird was pecking at the moss in the Sunken Garden. Evidently it was finding insects in there, as it worked its way along the whole length of the wall. It didn't eat any of the moss. I've never seen anything eat moss except, of course, reindeer.

Here is a closer view of the speckled Blackbird on the east side of the Long Water. It was in the same place, beside the path about 50 yards from the edge of the Italian Garden.

More of the Jays are coming to take peanuts from people's hands. It is hard for a Jay to nerve itself to get so close to a person, but these intelligent birds must realise that it's a good way of avoiding their peanut being snatched by a Magpie before they can get to it.

The male Tawny Owl was in his favourite place on the nest tree. There were a few Jays and Magpies around, not enough to annoy him seriously, but he was alert and looking about in case of an attack.

There are plenty of Common Gulls at the Round Pond. It seems strange that they should prefer this busy, open area to the main lake, where there are never more than a few of this species. Perhaps more worms in the grass make up for the greater disturbance, or perhaps it is because there are more visitors to drop food.

A Cormorant was fishing over the wire baskets next to the bridge, and caught a small perch.

At the other end of the bridge a Great Crested Grebe was poking around the edge of the other set of baskets.

At the tables of the Lido restaurant, deserted when it started to rain, a Moorhen was enjoying a cup of hot chocolate.


  1. So you have actually seen reindeer eating moss? Also variously feeding on moss are tardigrades, springtails and booklice. I see many of the last around clumps of moss that keep appearing in my parents' external puttywork. Jim n.L.

    1. Wondered whether someone would challenge that. Yes, at Kautokeino in Norwegian Lapland.